...the voice of pensioners

A children’s lesson that grandparents can help to teach.

23 Nov 2019

Dear LPG, 


How many times do you have a conversation where the subject of how the grandchildren are getting out of hand is the main topic? I know when I was young that pocket money was something you earned but now, in my opinion, far too many youngsters take much too much for granted.


I have a 9 year old grandchild who has only one preoccupation and that is what he wants and, although I blame a modern system that insists that a child is being mistreated if his (or her) needs are not taken into consideration at all times these days, I have just learned about one way that my son and daughter in law have devised for dealing with it.


The young man in question has recently realised that other members of his class at school are getting pocket money and took the time to explain to his parents that he wants to be one of the “haves” rather than one of the “have nots” in his class. 


These parents came up with the following pocket money system.  He gets a base rate of £2.00 per week and for each time he helps out or displays positive behaviour (i.e.  tidying up, clearing away, being patient with his younger siblings, doing his homework, or doing his guitar practise without having to be prompted ) he can earn 50p a time until his weekly total reaches £6.00.  If, however he does a bad thing (shouting at a sibling, getting into a strop) 50p is deducted and there is no limit on how much can be lost.  A ‘four jar’ system is in place one for long term saving, one for whatever special something he is saving for at the time, one for general spending and one for charity.  The last aspect is that each week, mother and son takes the time to update a paper tally to make sure that money does not get borrowed from one jar to prop up falling amounts in another.


My grandson has been reminded that he needs to get a present for his cousin at the pound shop now that he has his own money and he also ruined his brother’s new tee-shirt and has been told that he needs to pay some money back towards that by instalments.


So he is learning a little bit about applied mathematics, being in debt and the need to be good all at the same time and I cannot begin to explain how his attitude has changed for the better. Of course, the weekly tally was a bit time consuming at the beginning, because the whole agreement is a written one.


So, I call on all grandparents to pass the system on to the parents of those younger grandchildren and great grandchildren.  It worked for my grandson and perhaps it might work for a few others.


GM, Brockley